I grew up familiar with the concept of putting on the armor of God. I memorized the verse in song form before I was ten, and in Sunday School we would often label coloring pictures of cartoon knights dressed in armor.It’s so easy for me to read over that verse and think of the little coloring pages in my head. I can still see the labels and I think, “The helmet of salvation was purple and the belt of truth was gold” and on it goes.
I knew these represented real things. Real protective strategies against the enemy we face every day. But I was unfamiliar with the practical application.
So recently, I was challenged to dig deeper. The scripture starts with “Put on the full armor of God.” It’s not really an outfit suggestion that’s dependent on the day or the occasion. It finishes with, “So you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” I want to be able to take my stand, but this makes it sound like the one is dependent on the other. As you can imagine, I found it difficult to imagine walking around in clanking armor all day, so I wanted to figure out what this really looked like in my daily life.
I imagined what it would be like to enter a room knowing I was wearing the armor the scripture describes. What would be my concrete foundation? What would take up my brain space? How would I act? How would I respond to things?
What would be different if I wasn’t wearing the armor of God?
What I came up with was a list to somewhat remind my brain why each piece of armor described in Ephesians 6:13-17 was so important, and I decided to read this aloud to myself as often as I remembered it throughout the week.
Helmet of Salvation
The King of the universe jumped in front of the bullet and died a temporary death to save me from an eternal one. Because I accept that sacrifice and repent of my crimes, I am saved. Any doubt or understatement about any of that has no place in my head.
Breastplate of Righteousness
His righteousness has been credited to me, clothing me and crowning me an heir to the Kingdom. This is an identity I should wear close to my heart, like a second skin. No accusations against me can break through the protection that provides.
Belt of Truth
I need to anchor the core of who I am in His truth and no one else’s, keeping it looped and securely knotted around the center of all I do.
Shoes of Peace
Peace should be left in my wake, not chaos, for it transcends my human understanding of every atmosphere around me. His peace should determine the speed of my stride, and I should be confident, knowing it will support my steps wherever I bring it, leaving ripples in every place I stand, even if I can’t see it.
Shield of Faith
My faith in who God is can defend me against anything because it can not be taken away from me. It is an invisible shield, but even the tiniest piece of it is unbreakable.
Sword of the Spirit
The Word of God is my most powerful weapon against the enemy. It is a blade that has never ever been broken or defeated. I should keep it sharp and train with it daily so it is not unfamiliar or heavy when the time comes to use it.
Perhaps this will evolve as I dig even deeper into the subject, but at the moment these little handfuls of words help align my mind to the right perspective. I have them saved in a note on my phone, and read them as often as I can, letting each piece take root in my mind. Then I consider myself armed and ready for whatever the day will throw at me.
See Ephesians 6:11-17